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Topic: Non-encapsulated mass?

Forum: Waiting for Test Results —

For members not diagnosed with breast cancer, but waiting for test results:  Biopsy, mammogram, ultrasound, or other screening tests. Waiting is VERY difficult but remember...

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength." -- Corrie Ten Boom

Posted on: Apr 16, 2011 06:58PM

appleaday wrote:

Hello all,

I had an excision biopsy done yesterday.  My surgeon felt confident that she would be removing a fibroadenoma.  After the surgery, she spoke with my husband and told him that the mass was definitely not a fibroadenoma.  The only other thing she told him was that it was not encapsulated.  We are now awaiting pathology reports.

History:  I had a mammogram and u/s last month for a palpable lump.  I was told at that time that the lump was likely a fibroadenoma and that I could leave it there.  My OB/GYN suggested I speak to someone about taking it out in order to be certain, and she referred me to the surgeon I saw yesterday.  The surgeon obviously advocated for taking it out.  I had a lump in the same area 2 years ago when newly pregnant.  I had a needle biopsy at that time and was told it was a fibroadenoma and I didn't need to do anything.  Due to breast changes with pg and breastfeeding, I can't really say if the lump changed over time or left and came back or anything - I'm just not sure.

When I research non-encapsulated breast lumps, the only non-cancerous information I find is some really rare diseases that result in mastectomy anyway.  Except for a pseudolump which results from breast trauma which I have not had.  

Does anyone know the significance of having a non-encapsulated lump?  


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Apr 16, 2011 11:05PM dlb823 wrote:

appleaday, I'm not entirely sure, but since no one else has responded to your question, let me at least give you a possible answer, which will also bump this thread for you.  Logically, it sounds like non-encapuslated might be the same or similar to spiculated.  In other words, the cells are not encapsulated in a smooth, roundish mass, but rather growing little tenacles.  Unfortunately, this characteristic frequently points to a possible malignancy. 

My explanation is more intuitive than scientific, but there's another term associated with breast cancer called extracapsular extension, which also means that the lesion is growing outwards, and I think non-encapsulated might be basically describing the same type of growth pattern.   Deanna

Deanna "The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears" Native American proverb Dx 2/1/2008, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 1/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/3/2014, Stage IV
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Apr 17, 2011 03:52AM appleaday wrote:

Thanks Deanna - I appreciate that.  I have been trying to do research with such little information.  I know I don't have enough to base anything on but it is definitely a stress reducer for me to collect information at this point.  Thanks again for the answer.

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Apr 17, 2011 05:04AM voraciousreader wrote:

I had a tough time too trying to understand my biopsy report.  Mine referred to a "well encapsulated" mass.  Couldn't find much information on that either.  It turned out to be a mucinous breast cancer, which looks very much like a benign mass...which makes it VERY difficult to diagnose when looking at a Mammogram, which in my case missed it..and picked up on a sonogram...which looked "benign" and was missed by the first radiologist who read it. 

It would be nice if there was uniformity to pathology definitions when describing masses and some place where were could read the definition descriptions.  Would be nice if we were all trained in pathology, radiology and medical oncology too!  That would make understanding all of this a lot easier and a whole lot less stressful too.

Good luck to you and my thoughts and prayers are with you. 

Doctor told me regarding my prognosis that I WASN'T on the Titanic! Hmmm...Really?....Okay! 02/2010 Pure Mucinous Breast Cancer, Oncotype DX 15, Stage 1, Grade 1, 1.8 cm, 0/2 nodes, ER+ 90% /PR+ 70% HER2- (+1)
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Apr 17, 2011 08:17AM appleaday wrote:

Thanks voraciousreader - I wish I had a little more information!  I appreciate the thoughts and prayers.  From what I've read it seems like cancer can either encapsulated or not, but that non-encapsulated masses are either cancerous or something else bad!  But I am only basing this on Dr. Google which is sometimes a good way to go and sometimes not ...

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Apr 19, 2011 04:53PM appleaday wrote:

I got some info on the pathology report from the nurse today, and it sounds very good.  She said there are no atypical or cancer cells.  She said the report states:

fibroglandular breast tissue with adenosis

focal usual ductal hyperplasia and columnar cell change

 From what I've read today, it sounds like these are all basically benign accelerations of tissue growth and require no further treatment.  The one downside is that it looks like usual hyperplasia doubles my risk of breast cancer in the future.  And that atypical hyperplasia creates significantly higher risk, and I have found a study that shows strong correlation between having usual hyperplasia and subsequently developing atypical hyperplasia.  But the bottom line is this is a good report!  I will be interested to talk to the doc later this week and hear what she says about future risk.

Thank you all again! 

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